George William Taylor

Taken in the Clinton Presbyterian Churchyard, Clinton, Hunterdon County, N.J. and was submitted by Fred Otto.

George William Taylor was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, on November 22, 1808; he had a varied career in and out of both the army and navy. He was graduated from Captain Partridge's Military Academy at Middletown, Connecticut, in 1827 and the same year entered the navy as a midshipman. He resigned in 1831 to become a farmer in New Jersey. During the Mexican War he served as lieutenant and captain in the 10th U. S. Infantry and was honorably discharged in 1848. He then spent three years in California, but returned to New Jersey to engage in mining and the manufacture of iron. When the Civil War began Taylor became colonel of the 3rd New Jersey, a three-year regiment which was assigned to Kearny's 1st New Jersey Brigade. When Philip Kearny was advanced to division command in the III Corps, Taylor, who had been made a brigadier general to rank from May 9, 1862, succeeded to command of the brigade (which was in Slocum's division of the IV Corps) and led it most creditably during the battle of the Seven Days on the Peninsula. A few weeks later his command was one of the first to be ferried northward from the Army of the Potomac when the scene of action shifted from the Peninsula to the Manassas plains during the campaign of Second Bull Run. At this juncture Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was bearing down on the Federal storehouses and freight cars at Manassas Junction. In response to the attendant alarms and rumors Taylor's brigade was put on the cars and dispatched on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad to defend the railroad bridge over Bull Run. Forced to detrain a quarter of a mile north of the bridge because of the debris of a former collision on the line, Taylor deployed his little brigade, without a piece of artillery, in line of battle against the powerful Confederate division of Isaac R. Trimble, who was supported by two veteran batteries firing shell and canister at short range. Taylor was mortally wounded; his brigade dissolved; and on September 1, 1862, he died in Alexandria of his wounds. He was buried in Rock Church Cemetery, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.